As we approach the cooler months here in the northeast, many restaurant customers are seeking warm foods to satisfy their appetites. Thinking of adding warm sandwiches and wraps to your menu, but not sure how to get the grill for your needs? Star Manufacturing, a leader in sandwich grills, recently shared some sandwich grill buying information. They offer a lineup of countertop models that make is easy to add a grill to your equipment line-up.
Platens – Differences to Consider
Sandwich grills' platens are constructed in aluminum or cast iron with each finish offering a different performance. One benefit of aluminum is a more even heating distribution, however aluminum requires more cycling as it loses heat quicker . Whereas cast iron can retain heat better creating a faster recovery time. Clean up for either are extremely similar, with the exception that iron can rust. To avoid rust, simply oil and season.
Aluminum is best when warming items such as tortillas and quesadillas. Models with aluminum platens are available in low power (120V) and are ideal when heating and marking bread product. Cast iron is better in cooking applications, such as chicken and burgers. It is often the choice for protein breakfasts and combination items. This finish can be ordered in higher power (208/240v) with higher wattages.
Something you may want to consider: cast iron weighs 3 times as much as aluminum.
Next decision – Do you want your platen grooved or smooth? Menu items usually dictate this. The grooved are a must for the popular Panini sandwich. A thing to remember, grooved will take a little longer to cook an item as there's less surface contact than a smooth platen. Want both? There is a model for that as well.
Size – Choose 7 inch – 14 inch or 28 inch
Keep in mind your product size when deciding on the model you would like to invest in. After all, if it is a whole tortilla you would like to fit on the surface, the 7" model would not be adequate. Many times, the choice is dictated by the available counter space to devote to this equipment. If allowable in your footprint, an equipment stand is another option to set up a grilling station. The larger Star grills can be ordered with dual platens to increase production. This works well in higher volume applications and to cook different things at the same time. Split platens even have independent electronic controls; items do not need to cook at the same temps.
Star's PST and PGT series of sandwich grills have stainless steel bodies to resist corrosion. They feature a hinge mechanism using a heavy-duty torsion spring design. They can accomdate food up to 3" in height.
- Analog: a dial thermostat goes from 1-10. Easy to operate but limited functionally.
- Analog with a timer: The timer feature is very convenient in a place where things tend to get busy. Your multi-tasking worker will be alerted when a product is ready to serve.
- Electronic: Choosing an electronic control unit allows you to program in dozens of product tme and temp settings. Ideal when you want to make it easier for a staff that is handling a high volume of cooking. Programming your items means consistent results.
The surface of your grill should clean nicely with with soapy water, brush and an abrasive pad. Should this method not clean it up totally, a commercial high-temp grill cleaner can be used. This works well when there is heavy accumulation.
Shop Globe for your sandwich grill needs. Check out our listings here, or give us a call. We would be happy to help with your buying decision.
About Star Manufacturing:
Star Manufacturing has been making durable, reliable, quality products since 1921, starting with a popcorn machine. Since then, Star has grown and expanded into one of the world's most respected and valued manufacturers of counter top gas and electric commercial cooking appliances, hot dog cooking and preparation equipment, popcorn machines, specialty food warmers, display merchandisers, toasters and waffle bakers. Star products are used in a broad range of applications that include fast food, leisure, concessions and traditional restaurant operations, and can be found in ball parks, arenas, stadiums, restaurants and convenience stores.